Aurigny Air Services Limited (pronounced /ˈɔəriːniː/), commonly
known as Aurigny, is the flag carrier airline of the Bailiwick of
Guernsey with its head office next to
Guernsey Airport in the Channel
Islands, and wholly owned by the States of
nationalisation in 2003. It operates passenger and freight services
between the Channel Islands, northern France, and the United Kingdom
(as well as seasonal services to
Barcelona and Grenoble). Its main
Guernsey Airport, with other aircraft and crew based at
Aurigny is one of the longest serving regional
airlines in the world, and is the oldest established airlines in
Britain after Loganair. The origin of its name lies in the cognate
across Norman languages for Alderney.
1.1 Early years
1.2 Regional transition
1.3 Recent history
2 Corporate affairs
2.1 Ownership and structure
2.2 Business trends
3.1 Current destinations
3.2 Former destinations
4.1 Historical fleet
7 Further reading
8 External links
Aurigny Trislander at
Jersey in August 1989
Aurigny Air Services was founded by Sir
Derrick Bailey and started
operations on 1 March 1968 after
British United Airways
British United Airways withdrew from
Guernsey route. It initially operated Britten-Norman
Islander aircraft, developing a highly efficient network linking the
Channel Islands with each other and with
France and the United
Kingdom. During the first year of operations the airline carried
45,000 passengers between Guernsey,
Jersey and Alderney.
Aurigny became the first commercial operator of the Britten-Norman
Trislander in July 1971; the airline remained the world’s largest
operator of the type until its retirement. Use of this larger aircraft
enabled the route structure to be developed to include the south coast
of England and northern France. In 1977,
Aurigny was the first
airline in the world to ban smoking on all services. In 1993, Aurigny
won a contract to carry mail between the
Channel Islands and the UK
and in 1999 it began daily services between Guernsey–
Amsterdam Airport operated by
Saab 340 aircraft. The
latter route was later dropped due to poor demand, but marked its
transition from a local carrier to a regional airline.
Short 360 at
Guernsey Airport in July 1995. The airline no longer
operates the type
Ownership of the airline passed from
Aurigny Aviation Holdings to
Close Brothers Private Equity on 23 May 2000, but was wholly acquired
by States of
Guernsey on 15 May 2003, after
British Airways announced
that it was to cease flying on the
(just two months before the Island Games). It employs 300 staff in the
France and the United Kingdom.
operates charter services, and is a handling agent for various other
airlines which fly into Guernsey, including Blue Islands.
In June 2006, a survey by market researchers islandopinion.com showed
Aurigny was the most popular airline which served Guernsey. On 21
Aurigny got permission from its sole shareholder, the
States of Guernsey, to raise a private loan to purchase two new ATR
72-500 aircraft which entered service in March 2009. Aurigny
celebrated 40 years in operation in 2008. It was voted 4th-best
short-haul airline in a poll published in the consumer magazine
Which?. In a survey of 30,000 members the magazine examined 71
airlines and asked readers to rate each carrier for standards of
check-in, cabin staff, cleanliness, food and entertainment. It has
been rated the world's best short-haul airline in more recent
March 2009 saw
Aurigny announce that it was to operate a
London Stansted route, whilst restarting the
Guernsey and East
Midlands link. Daily flights commenced from 1 May 2009. The frequency
of flights from
London Gatwick was increased from four to
five daily return flights that day. In August 2009,
that it would be operating winter flights to
Grenoble using its ATR
72-500 aircraft. The flights ran from 26 December 2009 to midway
through February 2010. This was repeated for the 2010/2011 winter
season, but flights were continued until March. The extension did not
prove viable and the previous length of operation has been restored
since the 2011/2012 season. Thanks to the change, it noted that
demand was stronger due to a decreased period of availability.
ATR 72 taxiing at
Guernsey Airport in May 2009
It was revealed in July 2010 that
Blue Islands was planning to buy
Aurigny, and was undergoing a due diligence process with the Treasury
and Resources department of the States of Guernsey. This sparked major
debate throughout the islands, and a Facebook page in opposition to
the proposed buy-out gained 530 members. On 14 September, Treasury and
Resources announced that the sale would not go ahead.
Blue Islands' withdrawal from
Alderney on 9 May 2011 left
a monopoly on that island for the first time in over a decade.
However, it was criticised later that year for cutting the number of
flights to Southampton, not lowering prices and reducing
services to twice daily over that winter; Malcolm Hart later
reaffirmed its commitment to the route and admitted that encouraging
passengers to fly via
Guernsey had been 'the biggest mistake in
Aurigny's recent history'. At the end of 2011,
Aurigny rolled out
the first GPS approach system in Europe (based on the European
Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, for use by its Trislanders
Southampton airports, in cooperation with EUROCONTROL,
allowing flights in lower visibility and in poorer weather.
In October 2013,
Mark Darby joined the company as CEO after six months
as a non-executive director. He would initiate an eight-week trial
Dornier 228 as a replacement for the Trislander fleet, on
lease from Aero VIP (Portugal), and later the purchase of four such
aircraft (two older and two NG variants). Three aircraft arrived
during the course of 2014 and 2015, with another due from manufacturer
RUAG in 2017.
Flybe announced its withdrawal from the
London Gatwick –
Guernsey route by March 2014,
Aurigny ordered an
Embraer 195 to serve
its Gatwick route in order to provide sufficient capacity as the sole
operator. The aircraft was delivered on 24 June 2014, and a similar
aircraft was wet leased from
Flybe between March and June to provide
capacity in the interim. Given substantial government investment
in fleet acquisition, and its monopoly position on the Gatwick route,
an agreement between the airline and the States of
Guernsey struck in
April 2014 saw it commit to offer 65% of fares for £65.00 or
less. Additionally, in January 2014
Aurigny applied to the States
Guernsey to operate a
London City service, with an aim
of starting the route from May. Due to delays in aircraft
procurement, the route commenced on 8 September 2014, initially
operated by VLM Airlines.
After ten years of competition with
Blue Islands on the
Guernsey inter-island route, in March 2014
Aurigny signed a codeshare
agreement with that airline pertaining to
Jersey – Guernsey
inter-island services. The deal, which marked the secession of Aurigny
Jersey for the first time since 1969, saw Blue Islands
take over all flying on the route and
Aurigny oversee ground-handling
Blue Islands flights in Guernsey. Each airline sold 50% of
available seats, and the contract was initially signed for two years.
In January 2016,
Blue Islands announced the contract for
the codeshare would not be renewed, after
Blue Islands became a
franchise partner with
Flybe and restrictions on the latter's
inter-island operation were lifted by the States of
ATR 42 at Manchester
In April 2015,
Aurigny acquired an ATR 42-500 on dry lease from Nordic
Aviation Capital for use on
London City –
Guernsey services, and as
a back-up aircraft. In December of that year,
Aurigny announced a
new year-round route from
Bradford (commencing 27
May 2016), and a summer seasonal service to
Norwich (commencing 14 May
2016), using its
ATR 42 and
ATR 72 aircraft. In February 2016,
Aurigny announced that it would operate a summer seasonal service from
Guernsey to Barcelona, to be operated by its
Embraer 195 over four
weekends from 23 July to 13 August 2016. Additionally, it applied
to operate a summer seasonal service between
from March 2017.
In November 2015, the States of
Guernsey agreed to recapitalise
Aurigny's holding company, Cabernet Ltd, by paying off £25m of
existing and expected debt. The airline signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the States of
Guernsey and the States of Alderney,
putting in place a system of communication between the three parties
as well as a basic service level agreement, in February 2016.
Ownership and structure
Cabernet Ltd is the 100% holding company for the
Aurigny Group, which
Aurigny Air Services and Anglo Normandy Aero
Engineering. The holding company is itself 100% owned by "The
Guernsey acting by and through the States Trading
The airline has been loss-making for a number of years; however its
services have been viewed as essential to Guernsey's economy, etc. - a
May 2017 strategic review said "that Aurigny’s objectives should
focus on supporting economic enablement and providing a backbone of
air services to support the Bailiwick [of Guernsey]’s economy and
its growth, providing access to affordable air travel to the UK."
Trading figures have been released for Cabernet Ltd (that is, the
Aurigny Group), with promises of increasing transparency. The key
trends over recent years, from annual accounts and press statements,
are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):
Net profit (£ m)
Number of employees
Number of passengers (000s)
Number of aircraft (at year end)
In April 2014
Aurigny announced that it would retire its fleet of
Aurigny Air Services serves the following destinations (at August
British Crown dependencies
Alderney Airport Focus city
Guernsey Airport Hub
Saint-Malo - Pleurtuit Airport
Grenoble Airport seasonal
East Midlands -
East Midlands Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport seasonal
London Gatwick Airport
London Stansted Airport
Norwich International Airport
Norwich International Airport seasonal
The airline also previously served the following
British Crown Dependencies
Jersey Airport 
Cherbourg - Maupertus Airport
Caen - Carpiquet Airport
Granville - Granville – Mont Saint Michel Aerodrome
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Brighton - Shoreham Airport
Bournemouth Airport 
Cambridge Airport charter
Gloucestershire Airport charter
Manston Airport charter
London City Airport
Embraer 195 on final approach to Gatwick in May 2015
Saab 340 taking off from
Bristol Airport in 2003. The type has now
As of November 2016, the
Aurigny Air Services fleet consists of 
Aurigny Air Services fleet
Dornier Do 228
RUAG Aviation Do 228 NG
The airline formerly operated the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
(retired by mid-1980s), the
Short 360 (retired 2006) and the Saab 340
(retired early 2000s), as well as leasing a
British Aerospace 146
British Aerospace 146 (for
summer 2003 charters) and a Boeing 737-300 from
Titan Airways to stand
in for unserviceable aircraft. One
Dornier Do 228
Dornier Do 228 arrived for a
two-week trial in November 2013.
Britten-Norman Trislander G-JOEY - made famous by the "Joey Club"
(founded in 1986) and book series - landing at
Aurigny announced on 17 April 2014 that it would retire its five
Trislanders and replace them with three second-hand Dornier Do 228s,
noting that "the cost of keeping them [Trislanders] in the air is now
prohibitively expensive". The programme to replace the Trislanders
was expected to cost £3 million, with the airline asking the States
Guernsey for a loan in order to fund its Dornier acquisition.
Aurigny's flagship Trislander aircraft nicknamed "Joey", after its
registration G-JOEY, gained great affection over time and a campaign
was established to have "Joey" put on display in
Guernsey rather than
being sold. This aircraft has made it's last flight on 28 June
2015 and in November of that year it was announced that it would be
preserved on the island. In March 2016 Oatlands Village, a
local tourist attraction, was revealed to be "Joey"'s possible new
home, subject to permission for construction of a suitable building to
house the Trislander.
The States of
Alderney has described Aurigny's
Alderney service as
"third world" and has repeatedly slammed the airline regarding the
lack of reliability of the services. Passengers have frequently
complained about a high number of delays, lack of customer service,
and high fares.
Many of these complaints have been about, or due to, the removal of
Britten-Norman Trislander fleet and the acquisition of four
Dornier 228 aircraft. These aircraft have suffered continual technical
issues. The airline was forced to reschedule it's celebratory last
Trislander 'joy-flights' three times due to continued technical
problems with the Dornier fleet.
On the 9th June 2017,
Aurigny withdrew the island's lifeline medevac
service outside of normal hours, meaning
Alderney residents could only
be transferred to hospital during working hours. Outside of normal
hours transfer has to be with the
RNLI The airline blamed a lack of
staff, and The States of
Guernsey says they are trying to work with
Aurigny to address the issue.
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See also: List of defunct airlines of